Filed by M. Trevor Higgins
Randall Bramblett is best known for his work in the name of others. You can hear him on projects by Greg Allman, Bonnie Rait, Widespread Panic, Steve Winwood, Levon Helm, Govt. Mule and Sea Level.
Bramblett seems comfortable in his role outside the spotlight, and much of “Rich Someday” finds him on the sidelines looking in.
On the album’s first track, “Where Are You Tonight,” he idly watches the world pass by. On “Beautiful Blur” he’s “lost and exposed/like the trash blowin round on nowhere road.” There are images of smallness and insignificance throughout.
For his third solo album for New West Records Bramblett doesn’t go it entirely alone. Longtime collaborator David Causey co-wrote three of the album’s 13 songs and adds some fuzzy and lively guitar.
“Rich Someday” is best when multi-instrumentalist shows off his talents and gives us glimpses of why those big names wanted him around, like the thick organ and sax he lays down for “Queen of England.” Maybe he shows off these talents more in concert, but the glimpses of stand-out music are short and too infrequent. There is no reason for this album to include a bland moment, yet it travels a few bland roads.
The most impressive instrument on the album is Bramblett’s voice. It’s a little smoky, a little weary. His voices carries authority and mileage and baggage.
When he admits he’s “clothes hangin in the wind” on “Rainville” the shake in his resigned voice is more telling than another verse. In the end, it’s a voice worth pulling for.
The album is out July 11.
Three out of five stars.
E-mail M. Trevor Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org